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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Corrupt Tembeckjian Thugs Continue Scam "Ethics" Hearings

Holzman Takes Stand to Rebut Allegations in Excessive Fee Case
The New York Law Journal by Brendan Pierson  -  January 11, 2012

Bronx Surrogate Lee L. Holzman took the stand on Jan. 10 to defend himself against allegations by the Commission on Judicial Conduct that he allowed Michael Lippman, a former counsel to the Bronx public administrator, to collect $300,000 in excessive fees.  Responding to direct examination by his attorney, David Godosky of Godosky & Gentile, Surrogate Holzman began by outlining the various kinds of cases handled by Surrogate's Court. He focused especially on cases involving the county's public administrator, who acts as executor of estates where there is no will or the executor named in the will is dead or unable to fulfill the role.  The conduct commission's allegations against Surrogate Holzman hinge on his approval of attorney fees as part of the final accounting of estates. At the end of a case in Surrogate's Court, the parties submit an accounting of the estate for approval. In a publicly administered estate, that accounting includes legal fees for the public administrator's counsel, calculated according to guidelines promulgated in 2002 by an administrative board chaired by Surrogate Holzman. He testified that the public administrator's counsel is authorized to pay himself up to 75 percent of the projected final fee before submitting the accounting for final approval.  Surrogate Holzman then turned to his personal history at the court. He said he began working for the court as an attorney in 1974, and took over after being elected as surrogate in 1988. The entire time, Mr. Lippman, who is facing criminal charges, was working as counsel to the public administrator, the judge said.  Surrogate Holzman, 69, said he had little contact with Mr. Lippman outside of work. He went to "three or four" Yankees games with the attorney, who had season tickets, had several work-related lunches with him and invited Mr. Lippman, along with other Surrogate's Court employees, to his daughter's wedding, he said. But otherwise, Surrogate Holzman said he did not see Mr. Lippman socially.  When he took over the court in 1988, he said, he made Mr. Lippman, who had been solely responsible for all the public administrator's cases, the supervisor of a team of attorneys.  "I made a change to the system that I thought would be beneficial," the surrogate said. "At this point I'm not so sure."  Surrogate Holzman testified that he had instructed the public administrators who worked under him on the protocol for approving attorney fees. He said he was "shocked" when he learned in 2006 that then-public administrator Esther Rodriguez had been approving excessive fee requests from Mr. Lippman without following the protocol.  The commission does not dispute that Surrogate Holzman fired Mr. Lippman from his position after learning about the excessive fees. However, it alleges that he should have turned him in to criminal authorities right away. Instead, Surrogate Holzman allowed Mr. Lippman to keep working on public administrator cases, turning all of his legal fees back to the estates from which he had collected fees, which the commission alleges was improper.  Later in the day, Surrogate Holzman testified that he approved the legal fees based largely on affidavits submitted by Mr. Lippman claiming the number of hours worked in each case. The surrogate said it was impossible for him to tell from the affidavit whether the legal work on a case should have required the number of attorney hours spent.  "I would look at the account to see whether anything jumped out at me as being of some question," he said. "This is the first time I would look at an account from that point of view."  Surrogate Holzman was expected to continue testifying Jan. 11.  Former Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Felice K. Shea served as referee in the proceeding.  Brendan Pierson can be contacted at


Anonymous said...

Why doesn't the commission on judicial conduct go after the corrupt judges?

Anonymous said...

Tembeckjian goes after this one judge and he and CJC let a hundred others get away. What this judge did is what at least a hundred other corrupt judges do where the even more egregious circumstances exist. This is a show trial to cover-up for the hundreds of other worse cases which the CJC fails to prosecute.

Anonymous said...

Hey Tembeckjian why don't you go the the adjoining Westchester County and see what you can find on Surrogate Judge Anthony Scarpino? It shouldn't be too hard, trust me. Or is he off limits? Your wife Barbara Ross (NY Daily News) was give info on Scarpino but she never does anything. What's the story?

Anonymous said...

NOT ENOUGH SHOOTING !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Tembeckjian needs to be removed. He has failed the public AND the judiciary.

Anonymous said...

A diversionary trial to cover-up for all the other corruption Tembeckjian swept under the rug. Scrafice one judge and protect ten vile other judges.

Anonymous said...

300 thousand is chump change. In the SDNY a Federal Judge can be bought for 250 thousand today.

Judges For Sale!

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See Video of Senator John L. Sampson's 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption

The first hearing, held in Albany on June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:

               Video of 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption
               The June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:
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